Welcome To 2017, When NFL Players Kneel While The Rest Of Us Pay Respect To Our Soldiers

Welcome To 2017, When NFL Players Kneel While The Rest Of Us Pay Respect To Our Soldiers

When does it become abuse of the 1st amendment? Can it be taken too far?

Welcome to 2017, where the 1st amendment is abused every single day by "fellow" Americans. Can freedom of speech, religion, press, petition and assembly be taken too far? What is the law? What does it mean to be an American?

What is freedom of speech? Definitionally, freedom of speech is "the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint." When does it become slander? Where is the line drawn? According to The Inside Counsel magazine, in order to accuse someone of slander, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the statement was false, the person who made the comment was doing it to cause harm in some way and that no research was done in order to make an accusation like they did.

With that being said, where does it become serious enough to turn someone in to the police?

What about freedom of religion? For those of you who don't know, that means you can choose any religion and worship freely without any interference by the government. Again, I must ask where do we draw the line? What if you walked into Subway and a Muslim boy was working, but you wanted a bacon sub? Imagine this is your 30-minute break and you don't have time to go anywhere else, but he refuses to make your sub because in his strict religion handling pork isn't acceptable. So you leave to finish the rest of your shift without food for the day. If the customer calls and complains, is it OK to fire that young man? Or is it his right to do this?

Freedom of press, similar to freedom of speech is being able to write opinions in print without censorship by the government. According to the Law Phil Project, if a journalist wants to write an article, it must be a fair and true report of a judicial, legislative, or other official proceedings which are not of a confidential nature; it has to be made in good faith; also without any comments or remark. It seems as if newspapers are allowed to talk about whoever they want, and say whatever they want about anyone. Is this abuse of the 1st amendment, or is it just business?

Freedom to petition the government, according to Learning to Give, is the freedom to stand up and speak out against injustices they feel are occurring. It also gives people the right to do something about the injustice, and petition it. This specific part of the first amendment is different than all of the others, an action can only be taken if the petitioning group gets large enough. Petitioning the government would take place if someone wanted to impeach the president. If the crowd grew big enough and multiple people started to join then legal action could be taken to start impeachment of the president.

Now that four out of five pieces of the 1st amendment have been explained to you, what do you think about this?

On Sunday 24, 2017 the Pittsburg Steelers stayed in their locker room for the National Anthem before their game. A photo of Alejandro Villanueva (a Steelers player) standing for the National Anthem went viral on all social media. Online newspapers, famous celebrities, and people all over the world have shared this photo shaming the popular NFL team, while a not so dramatic photo wasn't shared by the public.

Photos from USA Today and Sports Illustrated

The photo on the right side is the photo that circulated through all media platforms. As a viewer, you cannot see a single player in the background. The two photos on the left clearly picture players. The media did not want the public to see this, is that abuse of the 1st amendment?

This photo was posted by the Bleacher Report on Twitter, but was soon removed.

As you can see here, the players are standing behind Villanueva paying their respect to the National Anthem, but for some teams, this isn't the case. Players from teams all over the NFL have chosen to kneel while the National Anthem is playing or being sung.

As I switch gears, let me propose this...

What these men are doing is entirely protected by the 1st amendment, but is it the right way to utilize said expressed freedoms?

The National Anthem represents the men and women who have died for us, and the ones who are serving. The United States military has fought for us to have these freedoms for decades. Brave men and women have died so we can live any lifestyle we choose, yet these men believe they are above that. These players assume that they are above all, and they disrespect our military while doing this.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for speaking your mind and standing up for what you believe in, but not in this impolite, discourteous way. I understand that these men are trying to make a point, but being this ill-mannered is unacceptable. Being a United States citizen means so much, and one duty as a citizen is to take part in nationalism.

Stand up for our flag, or get out.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Mullins

Popular Right Now

I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.

Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.


Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I Spoke With A Group Of DACA Recipients And Their Stories Moved Me To Tears

An experience that forever changed my perspective on "illegal" immigrants.


I thought I was just filming about a club meeting for a project, but when I entered the art-filled room located in a corner of the student common area, I knew this experience would be much more than a grade for a class.

I was welcomed in by a handful of people wearing various Arizona State hoodies and T-shirts that were all around my age. They were college students, like myself, but something felt different when talking to them. They were comforting, shy at first, and more driven than the peers that I usually meet.

As I began to look around the room, I noticed a good amount of art, murals, religious pieces, and a poster that read, "WE STAND WITH DREAMERS." The club was meant for students at ASU that are either undocumented or DACA recipients.

Photo by Amanda Marvin

As a U.S. citizen college student, you typically tend to think about your GPA, money, and dating. As a DACA recipient college student, there are many more issues crowding your brain. When I sat down at a club meeting for students my age dealing with entirely different problems as me, my eyes were opened to bigger issues.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program allows for individuals that crossed the border as children to be protected from deportation and to go to school or work. Commonly known as DREAMers, these individuals are some of the most hard-working, goal-oriented and focused people I have met, and that's solely because they have to be.

In order to apply to be a DACA recipient, it is required that the applicant is attending school with a high school diploma, or a military veteran, as well as have a clean criminal record. While being a DACA recipient does not mean that you can become a permanent citizen of the United States, it allows for opportunities that may not be offered in their home country.

It's no secret that the United States has dealt with immigration in a number of ways. From forming new policies to building a wall on our nation's border, we see efforts to keep immigrants from entering the U.S. every day. But what about the people who are affected?

As the club members and I began a painting activity regarding where we came from and how we got to where we are today, I began to feel the urge to cry.

Photo by Amanda Marvin

One girl described the small Mexican town that she grew up in and the family that still resides there. She went on to talk about how important education is to her family and so much so that it was the cause of her family's move to the United States when she was still a child. Her voice wavered when she talked about the changing immigration policies that prevent her from seeing her family in Mexico.

Another member of the club, a boy with goals of becoming a journalist, talked of his depression and obstacles regarding growing up as an undocumented student. Once he was told by his father that he was illegal, he began to set himself apart from his peers and became someone he did not think he would ever be.

All of my worries seemed small in comparison to theirs, and I felt a pang of regret for realizing I take my own citizenship for granted every single day.

Terminating the policy would lead to the displacement of about 800,000 people. We tend to forget about the human aspect of all of this change, but it's the most important part.

For more information about this club, visit https://www.facebook.com/USEEASU/

Related Content

Facebook Comments